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NHS Barnsley CCG works closely with its partners and the public to develop services which put patients and carers at their heart. Here in Barnsley, we are leading the way in developing and commissioning services which are integrated and  based on the individuals needs and preferences”.  

Personal Health Budgets?

Personal Health Budgets support local people to identify, access, direct and manage their individual health and wellbeing needs. 

A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support the identified healthcare and wellbeing needs of an individual, which is planned and agreed between an individual, or their representative, and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). At the centre of a personal health budget is the person receiving services, and their care and support plan. This plan helps people to identify their health and wellbeing goals, together with their local NHS team, and set out how the budget will be spent to enable them to reach their goals and keep healthy and safe.

Who can get a personal health budget?

NHS Barnsley CCG is committed to supporting people who may benefit from a more flexible and more personal approach to health care support and delivery.  We are currently working with partners to offer personal health budgets to more Adults with continuing healthcare needs. Over the coming months, we aim to offer more PHBs to other groups of people with complex needs.



What are the essential parts of a personal health budget?

The person with the personal health budget (or their representative) will:

  • be able to choose the health and wellbeing outcomes they want to achieve, in agreement with a healthcare professional
  • know how much money they have for their health care and support
  • be enabled to create their own care plan, with support if they want it
  • be able to choose how their budget is held and managed, including the right to ask for a direct payment
  • be able to spend the money in ways and at times that make sense to them, as agreed in their plan.

How can a personal health budget be managed?

Personal health budgets can be managed in three ways, or a combination of them:

A notional budget: the cost of different services and the overall budget for the person with the PHB’s health care will be identified and explained. The NHS holds the money, and buys or provides the goods and services that have been chosen. Who holds the budget will vary depending on local processes and the persons’ situation – for example, it could be held by the CCG or Local Authority.

A third-party arrangement: an organisation legally independent of the person who has the PHB and the NHS (for example, an independent user trust, or a voluntary organisation) holds the money on their behalf, and buys or provides the goods and services chosen.

A direct payment for health care: the money is transferred directly to the person who has the PHB, and they buy the goods and services agreed in their care plan.  Direct payment support organisations exist to act as an agent and help them manage the direct payment.

 What are the stages of the personal health budgets process?

  • Making contact and getting clear information
  • Understanding the person's health and wellbeing needs
  • Working out the amount of money available
  • Making a care plan
  • Organising care and support
  • Monitoring and review.

Reasons why a Personal Health Budget plan will not be agreed

By regulation PHBs cannot be used for:

  • Something that is illegal
  • Gambling, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Emergency or acute services
  • The majority of primary care services (including visits and assessments of GPs)
  • Debt repayment

As commissioners of Health and Social Care, Barnsley CCG is responsible for the proper and ethical use of public, or taxpayers, money. 

Barnsley CCG will not agree a Person’s plan if we think the plan is likely to do harm to somebody, if the package of care or cost of the package of care is disproportionate to the level of need identified through the assessment process, or if identified needs are not met through the plan.  Feedback would be given on these plans so that they could be further developed.

How do I get a Personal Health Budget?

If you think you may be eligible for a Personal Health Budget and wish to give it a go, contact your Case Manager or Lead Health Professional. 

Why introduce Personal Health Budgets?

The way we need NHS services to support us is changing. Long-term health conditions - rather than illnesses susceptible to a one-off cure - now take 70% of the health service budget. This includes the long-term needs of people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and children and young people.

At the same time many (but not all) people wish to be more informed and involved with their own care, having a different relationship between people with lived experience of conditions and health care specialists and other professionals, and offering opportunities for choice and flexibility to gain better health by improving prevention and supporting people to self-care.

What are the benefits a Personal Health Budget can deliver?

Patients receiving a PHB often report the following benefits:

  • Better relationship between the carer and the person receiving support
  • Better social life for the carer and the patient
  • Better relationships with the wider family network
  • Better relationships between the family and the people being paid to care

For Chlidren, the benefits may include the above, as well as achieving better outcomes, in line with the childrens pathfinder work.

A recent evaluation showed that a PHB can improve healthcare by

  • Reducing the number of times people need to attend outpatient appointments
  • Reducing the number of times people need to see their GP
  • Reducing unplanned hospital admissions

Will this change the service I get from the NHS?

PHBs can help people with lived experience of complex health needs to meet their healthcare needs in a flexible way that suits the person and their life.  PHB’s cannot be used to provide GP services, emergency services or pharmacy services.

Do I have to have a PHB if I don’t want one?

No: They are optional.

Personal health budgets should help people who may not always benefit from standard NHS services to get a service offer that can meet their needs.

All NHS care and support people receive should be safe and effective and it should be a positive experience. 

People should have as much control over decisions as they want.

How does this work with personal budgets in social care?

NHS and social care organisations work in partnership with people and with each other to achieve the best outcomes for people and we are working on developing this further.  It is already possible in Barnsley to have an integrated budget and/or an integrated care plan.  

If someone is not able to have a personal health budget, they can still speak to their local NHS team about how their needs can be met in another way that better suits them.

Why now?

In response to the positive findings from early PHB pilot sites showing significantly improved outcomes for people who have accessed PHBs, NHS England are keen to expand access to personal health budgets across England.  NHS Five Year Forward View ambitions are dependent on developing personalised services.

Barnsley, as one of the nine national demonstrator sites for Integrated Personal Commissioning, have committed to delivering PHBs and integrated budgets/care plans more quickly than other areas.  The focus in IPC is to move the conversation from “what happens to you” to “what matters to you” and to provide choice and flexibility to meet people’s needs by using outcome focused, person centred care plans.